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When God Does Not Enter

October 16, 2020
By Martin Luther

Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.

ISAIAH 8:10

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When God Does Not Enter

Where sits the king or prince, wise and clever by himself, having the matter well in hand from every possible angle. . .. Not a single one of these people would direct a sigh up to heaven to seek advice and a plan of action from God. They are either such godless people that their conscience will not permit prayer or invocation; or they are so certain and smug in their wisdom and affairs that they scornfully forget to do it, as though they had no need of it; or they are usually accustomed to lay their plans this way, calloused in their unbelief. In the meantime our Lord God has to sit idly above. He does not dare to enter into the plans of such clever people, and He chats meanwhile with His angel Gabriel and says: "My dear fellow, what are these wise people doing in their council chamber, that they do not draw us into their deliberations? They must be wanting to build the Tower of Babel again. Dear Gabriel, go down there and take Isaiah with you, and read them a secret lesson through the window and say: 'With seeing eyes you shall see nothing, with hearing ears you shall hear nothing, with understanding hearts you shall understand nothing' (Isa. 6:10). 'Take counsel together, and let it come to naught. Speak the word, and let it not stand. For Mine is both proposing and disposing' (Isa. 8:10). So shall it be."

From Commentary on Psalm 101 (Luther's Works 13:149-50)